A mother is demanding stronger measures against hate speech and discrimination from a Texas school district after her two Asian American sons were allegedly subjected to racism and harassment.
Alleged targeting: Vietnamese American mother HaiAu Huynh has raised concerns about the safety of students of color in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (Cy-Fair ISD), urging the reinstatement of certain policies for better protection, according to ABC13. Incidents reportedly began in January when both of her sons were called racial slurs on the school bus.
According to Huynh, her sons have been called “Ching Chong, Wing Wong,” adding that others would “pull their eyes back” to do the slant-eye gesture. The harassment allegedly persisted; in May, one student allegedly drew a swastika on her older son’s shirt at McGown Elementary.
Call for systemic changes:
she last met with school district officials on Nov.17 and will have to wait up to 10 business days before a decision is reached on her latest appeal. Having communicated her grievance three times in the past six months, she remains unsatisfied with what she perceives as an inadequate response.
Huynh believes the school district is not taking the incidents seriously enough and lacks sufficient measures to support students from diverse backgrounds. She voiced her concerns during a district board meeting, emphasizing the failure to protect all students and calling for systemic changes to prevent future incidents.
“The district’s job is to protect all children, and it has failed miserably in that regard. My children do not feel that CF ISD will keep them safe,” Huynh said at the meeting.
How complaints are handled: In response to the allegations, Cy-Fair ISD provided a statement to ABC13, emphasizing its system for handling complaints at the campus level. The district noted that if it confirms inappropriate behavior, it assigns appropriate disciplinary consequences in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
Stay away order request: Huynh has requested a “stay away” order, which would keep the student who drew the swastika away from her child. The purpose of such an order is to create a physical and, potentially, social separation between the alleged perpetrator of harassment and the victim.
The school district sent Huynh an email in October, stating that the delay in granting her request was due to the involved students’ subsequent transfer to Sprague Middle School. However, it declined to provide details about how the offending student was handled, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Safety measures: The school district’s letter to Huynh also outlined safety measures implemented at Sprague Middle School. Those include preventing her older son from being in the same class as the alleged perpetrator, regular check-ins with the counselor and principal, and establishing connections with various adults on campus for support.
Despite these measures, Huynh contends that more systemic changes are needed to ensure the safety of her children and other students of color.